Important information for E-10 ethanol fuel after winter months

Published online: Nov 02, 2007 News
Viewed 133 time(s)

With the lengthy winter lay-up period again upon us, many boaters and anglers are asking how they can avoid winter fuel problems. BoatU.S. has these recommendations, some of which were gleaned from midwestern marina owners where E-10 has been in use for over a decade:
-The best practical recommendation is to continue to top off a boat's fuel tanks to about 95 percent full, leaving room for expansion. A tank that is almost full limits the flow of air into and out of the vent, which reduces the chance of condensation adding water to the fuel. Anglers who fish over the winter should also top off their boat's gasoline tanks between outings to prevent condensation.
-Note that some mechanics mistakenly advise that leaving a tank partially filled allows you to "freshen" the old fuel by topping off the tank in the spring. Leaving a tank partially filled with E-10 invites phase separation, which cannot be remedied by adding fresh gasoline. Once E-10 phase separates, the water will remain at the bottom of the tank. Midwest marina owners report that phase separation typically occurs when boats were stored with tanks only one-quarter to one-half full.
-Draining fuel tanks of E-10 gas, while completely eliminating any chances of phase separation, is potentially dangerous and not recommended.
-Once phase separation occurs in E-10 gasoline, additives and water separators can't help. The only remedy is to have the gas and ethanol/water professionally removed from the tank.
-Ethanol is known to chemically react with fiberglass fuel tanks, which can cause them to deteriorate and potentially fail. This is most common with tanks built before the mid-1980s. Unless your boat's manufacturer can confirm that your tank was built to withstand ethanol, the only remedy is to not use E-10 gas (which may not be possible) or to replace the tank with a non-reactive material such as aluminum.
-While ethanol does attract moisture, never try to plug up a fuel tank vent to prevent moist air from entering a tank. Without room to expand, the additional pressure could rupture fuel system components.
-With any fuel that sits in a tank for a long time, it's important to add a stabilizer. But understand that stabilizers do not prevent phase separation.

You May Also Be Interested In...

April 01, 2015

JC Manufacturing becomes JC TriToon Marine

Formerly known as JC Manufacturing, the Indiana-based pontoon manufacturer has officially changed its name to JC TriToon Marine.
March 31, 2015

Cascade Cycleboats launches pedal-powered boat tours

A rickshaw by any other name...wouldn't be a rickshaw anymore, I guess. But Cascade Cycleboats certainly evoke those three-wheeled conveyances of years past.
March 19, 2015

Carefree Boat Club adds location in Georgia

Carefree Boat Club has just opened a brand new location, adding to its ever-growing lineup.
March 17, 2015

World's fastest pontoon boat gets even faster

When you think of fast boats, a pontoon is probably pretty low on your list, just ahead of houseboats and tugboats. Brad Rowland begs to differ.
March 05, 2015

West Marine begins "Do It Yourselfie!" promotion

Show off your selfie fixing up your boat and West Marine could lend you a hand.
March 04, 2015

Pontoon Brands United

Premier Marine announced today the company will transfer the production of its Weeres and Palm Beach brands to its headquarters in Wyoming, Minn.
Follow us on Facebook!  Follow us on Instagram!  Follow us on Twitter!  Follow us on YouTube!